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vents of the recent past have rapidly overtaken us like a raging storm; not unusual for a country in transition, if we may call it so. India is straddling global advancements and the pull of the traditional institutions, two equal and opposite forces acting with and counteracting against each other, leaving a befuddled nation. As I sit down to pen my thoughts, my mind is saddened by the loss of innocent lives due to terrorist attacks in Delhi High Court. How long will this go on? Rather, how long is the nation going to put up with this threat to the security of its citizens? As much as the rampant corruption resulted in the outburst of an entire nation, resentment against continuing terrorism leaving a scarred nation may then again lead to unimaginable consequences.

Winds of Change

first thing you get to read about is the news of one parliamentarian/ politician/ bureaucrat/legal professional/ industrialist involved in a scam. The irony is that amidst all the happenings associated with the Jan Lok Pal bill, scams are unveiling unabashedly without respite. After a comprehensive Jan Lok Pal Bill has been prepared, it may be put up for public debate. A final scrutiny by an impartial, unprejudiced, eclectic, expert group, almost similar to the constituent assembly can finalise the contents of the Bill to be passed by the parliament. But that alone will not suffice. We need to think of ways and means to bring about a metamorphosis among the masses such that they play a major role in electing responsible leaders. A community based approach is the solution. Instead of discussing all the ills and projecting the embarrassing details about the unsavoury happenings in our country, instead of providing a platform for mudslinging by political parties, the visual media can play a role in offering forums for discussion by people. I must say here that the moderator or anchor person should at best mouth a little question and allow the public to speak. If the voices of the people are heard, then the change will be set in motion. And the efforts of truly patriotic citizens like Anna and many others will see the light of day.

History has time and again proved the attitude of our complacency. We are good at crisis intervention, but not prevention. Unless we spruce up our safety endeavours, the country may have to contend with the intermittent irritant of terrorist attacks, which is sure to distract us from the new national goal we have carved for ourselves- that of weeding out corruption. In fact, if corruption were to be contained, then we can have truly proactive and dynamic intelligence systems that can sense trouble and take preventive actions. This will leave us with the much needed time for constructive purposes. Coming to the changed scenario that has happened in the recent past, one is truly worried this should not be a transient eruption of passion. Instead of ‘iconizing’ leaders like Anna, it is the duty of all thinking minds to unite and use this opportunity afforded by Anna’s patriotic maneuverings and come up with as much workable solution as is possible to harness the galloping corruption in all quarters. It has almost become a habit to wake up with butterflies in one’s stomach. The

Ciao,

Swati Amar

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September 2011

Indian Festive Delights

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INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION 7

Contents

September 2011

Eve’s Times

Contents

Whatís your Style? 52

PLATINUM TRENDS 41 YET ANOTHER....... 49 Regulars
Salt ‘n’ Pepper Korner 35

JUS’ ASK BRINDA 38

“The Lok Pal and Us Yeah Write... Jest for Laughs

27 30 32
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September 2011

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INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION

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Taking the fight against corruption forward…
Dr. R. Balasubramaniam

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r.Balasubramaniam was recently in Chennai, when I had an occasion to meet him. Being aware of his intense involvement in the civil society movement, I asked him for his views about the recent happenings. He requested me to take content from his blog where he has put down his thoughts. Eve’s Times is proud to bring out this article , which outlines the occurrences during the last days of the recent movement against corruption before the issue has been settled for the time being. We would like to remind our readers that this crusade against corruption is a long one and needs all the inputs, efforts and patriotism of the citizens. The movement needs to be inclusive and must reach every nook and corner of the city. Citizens are welcome to send in their views to editoretg@gmail. com. Ed.

anything nationally significant. People have also been raising very valid questions like ‘Does the protester on the street know what he is protesting for?’ Others have been asking ‘What next?’ People like me who have been associated with the movement from its inception have views that are also shared by other civil society activists. It is time that we move away from the Emotional Campaign that we are seeing to a more Enlightened one. The movement against corruption in India has been a fairly long one for many of us. Many activists have been fighting in one way or the other for more than two decades. A few of us have also used existing acts like the Right to Information and the Prevention of Corruption Act in this fight against corruption. Experience gained out of such earlier fights clearly shows that there is a need for a comprehensive and effective anti-corruption law in this country. The present UPA Government had made fighting corruption a part of its election manifesto and had drafted a Lokpal bill in 2010 itself. This bill, though weak and not acceptable to most of us, did include the Prime Minister under its ambit. Most of us subscribed to the view that ‘no law’ was a better situation than having a ‘weak law’ and

The last 11 days have been one of intense debate across the country. Questions like ‘Will the Government buckle under the pressure of Anna’s fast?’, ‘Is the fast by Anna a blackmailing technique?’, ‘What is the Lok Pal bill?’ etc are being raised every day. Television and print media have not lagged behind and they have been constantly updating the events at the Ramlila maidan on a real-time basis. Never in the history of Independent India have so many concerned citizens participated in such numbers in

hence were worried that the Government would end up making a law which would not only be ineffective but also make the common man complacent to anti-corruption issues. It was then that many of us in the civil society got together to come up with our own draft and engage the Government with this draft. Simultaneously the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) also prepared a draft and substantial contributions for this draft came from Arvind Kejriwal. The sub-committee on Good Governance of the National Advisory Council under the Chairmanship of Ms Aruna Roy also started work on preparing a draft for the Government’s consideration. With so many differing views already in circulation, one can understand the debate that had been sparked off within many civil society groups. Around Nov-Dec 2010, Arvind had begun to disagree with the NCPRI team and wanted to have an omnibus Act that would not only be strong but also be comprehensive. The rest of the NCPRI team was of the view that the Act should not only be strong and comprehensive but also practical and implementable. Arvind decided to come up with his own version of the draft and this was a very rudimentary

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one then. Around the same time, in December 2010, a few Bangaloreans came together and started the ‘Corruption Saaku’ campaign. As part of the launch ceremony, they had organized a walk and had invited Arvind, Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta and me to speak. It was on that day that the all of us decided to take his Act and make it a part of a larger civil society initiative and get more people on board in our fight for a strong law. It was indeed Arvind’s networking and convincing skills that got a large team on board which included Anna Hazare, the Bhushans, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh, Justice Santosh Hegde and others and come under banner of ‘India

Against Corruption’. Many of us from the civil society were convinced that we had to mount an incessant campaign and get the Government to consider our points of view while preparing a law. A copy of the early draft was sent to the Prime Minister and to the Chief Ministers of all the 28 states. Expectedly, none of them showed any interest in these drafts and we felt completely ignored. As a part of our advocacy with the Government, a few of us met with the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Sri Manmohan Singh on the 7th of March 2011. His not so encouraging response left us with no doubt that the Government may not be serious about bringing a strong and effective anti-corruption law. It was then that Annaji in an

emotional response announced his fast. None of us were even prepared for the response to his fast of April 5th and the Government was completely taken aback at the national awakening that was churned. The rest of the events of the last five months clearly showed that the citizens of the country are fed up with the corruption that hurts them on a daily basis. The emotional response till date should be a clear signal to the Government on the mood of the people. Rallying to the call of Anna, people of different ages and walks of life have spilled on to the streets and are now demanding the Jan Lokpal bill. There are many valid criticisms leveled against the movement on the constitutional validity

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of such pressure tactics and on whether civil society has been overstepping its role from being a ‘pressure group’ to taking on the larger role of formulating legislations. Without getting into this subject that has been well debated in the press, I would only like to mention that consultation and participation in a pre-legislative process is not only fully constitutional but a sign of a mature democracy. How far should one go in doing this would be a more appropriate question. The events that have unfurled over the last two days have led to many discomforting questions in many of us who have been associated with this movement from its inception. One needs to not only understand the reason for the protest but also the details of the differences in the bills. The inclusion or exclusion of the Prime Minister or the Judiciary is not the only major issue. One can argue and debate on what the provisions of the Act should be and that is exactly what the present movement should hope to achieve. While television cameras do show a large number of people, especially at the Ramlila grounds, we need to ensure that the debate does not stay confined to the elite, English-speaking urban middle class but also percolate to the millions of rural Indians whose lives are the most affected by corruption. We also need to recognize that a few people in Delhi cannot represent the entire civil society and their views, and space for a more consultative and democratic expression of ideas is now necessary. There are now three versions that will be discussed in Parliament as mentioned by the Prime Minister in his speech yesterday. The Government from the last couple of days is showing restraint and some a recognition of the prevalent mood of India and respect for the demand of Good Governance. It also clearly indicates that the corruption

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as an electoral issue could affect the fate of many politicians tomorrow. The attitude of the Government is becoming evident from the differences in the statement of the Prime minister over this last week. The number of people asking the question of ‘why is anna being obstinate’ is now growing larger and this voice also needs to be heard. Swami Agnivesh, one of the key members of Team Anna voiced his discomfort openly and questioned the continuance of the fast. Many of us who have committed ourselves to this demand for a strong Lok Pal act are also concerned that Anna is insisting on continuing his fast. The view that is gaining ground is that he should give up his fast, but continue his dharna at Ramlila grounds. We now need to understand that however slow and long drawn the Parliamentary process is, it is the only recourse in a civilized democracy. While civil society is well within its constitutional rights to demand laws to ensure good governance, we should let the process take place without subverting it with demands of impractical timelines. While we make demands of participation and consultation on the Government, it is only fair that Team Anna also be more transparent and democratic in its decision-making. Arvind and Prashanth Bhushan are seen to be the key persons advising Anna and they should understand the enormous responsibility on their shoulders. They should not let the surging and loud crowds distract them into making impossible demands and should use their newfound power with caution and discipline. They should understand that the work at the center today is getting a good and strong anti-corruption law and not just ‘my version of the law’. Other civil society voices also need to find a space in this debate and we should use the invitation of the Standing Committee of Parliament to present our views forcefully and effectively. And let us not forget that we could always revert back to peaceful and non-violent struggles if the Government and Parliament let us down. Let us also remind our Members of Parliament that the next general elections is only a few years away and the citizens will not hesitate in voting out people who do not try to

September 2011
articulate the legitimate voices of those whom they represent. Making this struggle ‘Gandhian’ will need one to raise it morally higher and that will happen only when we allow existing institutions to function. Let us not forget what the consequences of a broken down system could be for the future of this country. Anna Hazare should now give up his fast, engage not only the Government but also a wider group of civil society leaders, and use his popularity with the common man to keep the pressure on the Government and not relent till we have a strong, pragmatic and effective anti-corruption legislation. Let us not forget that we can have this law only with the support, cooperation and intelligent participation of the civil society, the common people, parliamentarians of all political hues and the Government in power. It is indeed a collective responsibility and we should not allow the ego of any one individual or institution to come in the way of what we Indians rightfully deserve. - Balu

Dr. R.Balasubramaniam (Balu, in blue checked shirt) is a development activist, social innovator and leadership trainer. He is also the founder of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement. He resides in Mysore. Blog: Balu’s Musings http://rbalu.wordpress.

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The Satyagraha Ahead
Dr. R. Balasubramaniam September 3, 2011
ast month saw a couple of events that reminded us of the spirit of Nationalism of the early 40s. While one was the celebration of our Independence Day, the other was the celebration of the spirit of peaceful protest across

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the Nation that Anna Hazare led from the Ramlila grounds. One may or may not agree with the methods that Anna Hazare used in keeping the entire Nation charged with this spirit of Nationalism, but one cannot discount the fact that fighting corruption today is as much a household word as corruption itself.

We now need to understand what exactly ‘Corruption’ is and how it affects the lives of common people like us. Corruption, defined as the abuse of public power for private gain, has existed for long. It encompasses unilateral abuses by government officials such as embezzlement and nepotism,

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as well as abuses linking public and private actors such as bribery, extortion, influence peddling and fraud. Evidence confirms that Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately and hinders human development by reducing access to social services and diverting resources away from investments in infrastructure, institutions and social services. It arises in both political and bureaucratic offices and can be petty or grand, organized or unorganized. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and representation in policy-

making, corruption in the judiciary suspends the rule of law, and corruption in public administration results in the unequal provision of services. More generally, it erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and officials are hired or promoted without regard to performance. At the same time, it undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance. In the private sector, it increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements

or detection. Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms. It also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment away from the social sector like education and health care into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. It also lowers compliance with construction, environmental or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government. Fighting corruption is no

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longer a fad and has become a necessity in order to ensure development and a semblance of social and economic justice. We as a Nation have reached a point of frustration in our attempts to fight this menace and are now looking not just for ‘another messiah’ to come and help us fight but also for a strong legislation to provide us with the instruments to fight. Anna Hazare arrived at the right moment with the right intent and could galvanize a society tired of feeling helpless, hopeless and impotent. What we saw was the beginning of the fight for a strong Lokpal bill and many began asking if it would help us in this fight against corruption. It is no secret that this law will only serve as a deterrent and operate when people use it to file cases and pray that the system operates to ensure justice is done. Examples in Hong Kong and other places where the law operates without fear or favour has clearly demonstrated that it can help curb corruption significantly. While the law itself may have a limited role in our fight against corruption, we need to understand the gains that this movement has given us. For the first time in the last many decades, the nation has been galvanized into fighting for a social cause from one platform. Despite muted voices of dissent, we as ordinary citizens have not only found our voice but also the freedom to express it. It was not just the crusade of Anna Hazare, but of lakhs of men and women of all ages and backgrounds who

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found a platform to express themselves peacefully. What we now need to understand is the awakening of this new India, which lets our citizens engage with a democratic process and participate in matters of State that affect and influence their daily lives. While one may argue and debate on who actually won, I would like to point out that the entire Nation did. On one side, we saw what a charismatic and honest man could achieve when he operated out of the strength of his convictions. We saw the power and potential of a million citizens aroused with the passion of National reconstruction. We also saw the dignity and supremacy of Parliament restored. After

many years one actually felt reassured listening to the more than seven hours of parliamentary debate on the bill. The collective consciousness of India was aroused and suddenly we found a National purpose to give our lives for. The level of civic engagement and intent to participate in our fledgling democracy leaves one feeling positive about the future. We now need to ensure that the spirit of reconciliation and partnership that the civil Society, the political class and our parliamentarians displayed is not just a flash in the pan. What one needs is maturity and wisdom on all sides to take this win-win feeling ahead and ensure that this movement sees a logical conclusion acceptable to the whole country.

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and engaging love for truth and keeps expressing his views till he can achieve his intended end by not just peaceful means but also by constant self analysis of his methods and actions. In the Gandhian understanding of peaceful non-violence, there will be no space for self aggrandizement or for the theatrics that we saw displayed last week or bowing down to the vindictiveness that the Government is displaying now. Gandhi was clear in not just the meaning but also the spirit of ‘Satyagraha’ and was always conscious that ‘Satya’ and ‘Aagraha’ went together. Engaging with democracy and legislative processes will attain a higher and nobler stature only after we start engaging with ourselves on a personal and intimate level. We need to be constantly aware of our commitment to love, peace, non-violence and truth on an individual level and strive to live it in all small actions that we perform each day – like waiting for our turn in a queue or stopping at a red light or going out of our way to help a stranger in need. That will be the true Satyagraha that we need to launch immediately and only then will the India of our dreams emerge. Otherwise all that we may get is not a moral society, but a corrupt one with only a law no Gandhian will be truly proud about. Balu Blog: Balu’s Musings http:// rbalu.wordpress.com/

Amidst all this, let us not forget the long and tortuous path ahead. We need to understand that our dream for India should not be a mere anti-corruption legislation, but something more far-reaching than all that. What we see today is not just the degradation and greed of a few but of most Indians in all sectors. And we need to go beyond the demand for a law to ensure that our beliefs, values and practices reflect the true spirit of Gandhi and his message. For it is easy for a movement driven by emotion

to lose track if not sustained on the platform of spiritual values that Gandhi based his Satyagraha on. Satyagraha is such a demanding responsibility and one needs to go beyond just sloganeering and waving the National flag. It needs to translate into a moral transformation and self-purification of the person indulging in it. A true satyagrahi knows and lives his values deep from within and can neither display any hatred nor any dislike of any person or system. All that he has is a deep

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People’s Bill

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an Lok Pal bill should be a comprehensive bill that will ensure that it emerges as a strong tool to contend with corruption and other ills that assail the

Indian citizens. What are your views about the bill? What do you think you would like to add/change in the bill? Here are a few views. You too can write to us

and send your mails to editoretg@gmail.com. Let’s all work together to make our country a happy place to live in! Compiled By Padmini Natarajan
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Concept Notes of the NCPRI and the Loksatta Party should, ideally speaking, be combined for institutionalizing a strong, effective and autonomous Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the States. The top six elements in my wish list are the following: 1. The Selection Committee may comprise the PM, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India. 2. No person who is appointed as a Lokpal should be eligible for appointment to public office once his tenure has concluded. 3. The CBI Anti Corruption Wing should either be merged with the Lokpal and made its Investigative Wing, or if a new Investigative Wing is to be created for the Lokpal, then the relevant laws must provide that the investigation and prosecution of any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the relevant provisions of IPC

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The Nitty-Gritty of the Bill
he best elements of the Jan Lokpal bill and the shall be carried out by the Lokpal alone. 4. The Lokpal must include within its ambit the entire bureaucracy, from the lowest to the highest level. If the lower bureaucracy is to be omitted from the ambit of the Lokpal, then the CVC Act must be amended vis-à-vis aspects at two least crucial ----the

The citizen….
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appointment of CVC to be made in the same manner as appointment of Lokpal, and the recommendations of CVC to be binding upon the government. 5. The Lokpal bill must of

provide for simultaneous institutionalisation Lokayuktas in all the States, with the same autonomy as the Lokpal and the same powers and responsibilities vis-à-vis public servants at the State level. 6. A separate law regarding Citizens Charter and redress of public grievances may be enacted as soon as possible.

am one of those privileged Indians who was born into a middle class family, got a good education, entered the civil services, but realized over a period of time that I cannot guarantee my children either a secure and happy future in the country of their birth or a sense of pride in belonging to that country unless we, the generation which has benefited most from India’s recent growth story, do something about its crumbling institutions and the rapid spread of corruption. In small ways, that is what I am attempting to do, as a mother, a home maker, a civil servant, and a citizen.

Priya VK Singh http://priyavksingh.blogspot. com/ If you wish to be truly selfish, help someone who cannot do anything for you in return. (Dalai Lama)

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Lok Pal Bill and beyond it to electoral reforms

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he Lokpal agitation was only ‘One small step for the Anna Hazare team, but a giant leap for Indian democracy’. It gives us the hope that ‘we shall overcome’ and free ourselves from the clutches of the unholy nexus between corrupt politicians, unscrupulous bureaucrats and greedy businessmen.

false claim that he/party has the people’s mandate. This can end only when the Westminster system is abolished in favour of proportional representation on a national basis. There should only be 4 or 5 national parties, none based on caste, religion or class, who should fight a 2stage election. In the first stage all parties should contest elections. The second stage should be a stand off between the two top parties. The final winner should then nominate its MPs and ministers avoiding any candidate with a dubious history. The nominations should be challengeable in courts of law. The Opposition should comprise all the parties in proportion to their vote in the first stage. This will unify the country as never before and discourage provincialism. A similar system can be evolved for state assemblies. All efforts must be made to canvass transparency at all levels. This may seem a tall order, but immensely doable. Let us roll up our sleeves and don our Anna caps and renew our pledge to eradicate corruption.

However there is a protracted war ahead. The corrupt self serving politicians are opposing a bill to eradicate corruption from sports. There must immediately commence a campaign to fight this resistance from powerful and influential politicians like Sharad Pawar of NCP and Vijay Kumar Malhotra (who was part of the Kalmadi team) from BJP. The most important thing is to beware of detractors who have their own agenda. They are already emerging. Government is also systematically engaged in character assassination of the main protagonists of this movement. State funding is not the solution for electoral reforms. Politicians will gobble up all the funds and continue the present corrupt practice of raising additional funds to bribe the electorate. In our country so many votes get polarised and divided on the basis of caste, religion and class plus bribes offered. A candidate can win with just 15 to 20% votes and then make the

The citizen…. I

am a senior professional in the fields of Project Management, Finance, Engineering, Education, Training and Arbitration with vast experience in Indian and Mauritian Governments, Public Sector, RBI, ANZ Grindlays Bank (Now Stanchart), CFTC and assignments for World Bank and UN. I am currently Independent Director, Numeric Power Systems Ltd, Chennai. Prof N Natarajan

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We need a strong Jan Lokpal Bill
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an Lokpal Bill had to be pushed, if you like, with the Government as it did not pursue what it said it would from 1968, for promulgating a bill on Lokpal. Secondly the bill draft was tailored to the convenience of the elected members (who betray their voters once elected and in power) and even if enacted, would have paid lip-service to the menace of corruption in our society. demonstration of the intended purpose will be essential to eradicate corruption. Director Petroleum, I am now Managing Director: Cosmos Green Private Dist. Limited, Kopal in in Tavergere, Karnataka. I am spending my retirement years attempting to find a solution for emancipating small and marginal farmers in India. I feel that this class of people who feed us are starved and live in virtual penury. A for-profit Business Model has been initiated and within two years we propose to embrace such farmers to demonstrate workability of this mission. S.Raghavan

If corruption was not paralysing the “aam admi” in this country, there may not have been an upsurge in the public when the call was given by Anna Hazare. Essentially a strong bill and a

The citizen …

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fter retiring from IBP Company Limited as

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Who will be the “ Justice delayed watch dogs? is justice denied “
T
he idea of a Jan Lokpal being the ultimate answer to fight corruption in itself is simplistic. In a system where check points are teeming with opportunities for corruption, adding another one may not make things any better. Corruption is to be fought at many levels. That said, there are some specific problems with Jan Lokpal that I perceive. I may not have solutions for these right away. First, the bill proposed includes the power to investigate and prosecute with the Lokpal. Allowing any body with such unprecedented powers is antithetical to a democratic society and even dangerous. Second, the bill is meritocratic – it chooses people based on merit, by which there is the danger of otherwise eligible people being left out. There does not seem to be any provision to check if the members themselves are honest. Finally, one is tempted to ask, who will Lokpal the Lokpal?

T

he following are my submissions for inclusion in Jan Lok Pal Bill

The present version visualises an investigation period of 1 year and then a trial period of one more year making on the whole 2 years to lapse from the time of committing a violation by the offender. Hence the entire time frame should be reduced to 3 months of investigation and 3 months of trial taking only 6months on the whole to land an offender in jail . Only this will inculcate fear in the minds of the corrupt bureaucrat and restrain them from committing atrocities.

The citizen……. I
Samyukta Balasubrahmanian S.

am associated with EZ Vidya, an educational products and services organization that works for the betterment of hundreds of schools across the country. To know more, visit www.ezvidya. com. Bala also blogs infrequently at www.debum. blogspot.com

The citizen…….. I
Shylaja Chetlur

am an actor, filmmaker and gallerist. You can visit artnsoul.co.in to get to know more about my endeavours.

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September 2011

Jan Lokpal--Mobilising Support

I

n a country where every politician believes in the adage, ‘make hay while the sun shines’, the seemingly self-effacing Anna Hazare has become a beacon for modern India. He has successfully captured the imagination of the youth and the apathetic middle class by mobilizing the support of the entire nation. The resultant massive public outrage across the country forced the parliament to accede to Team Anna’s demands. Parliament has accepted the inclusion of a citizen’s charter and the establishment of Jan Lok pal and Jan Lokayukta across states. These institutions are to be financially, functionally and administratively independent of the government. The transparency afforded in the selection of members would help the Lokpal to initiate investigation, enquiry and prosecution of any corrupt government servant irrespective of their post or position.

The citizen……. I

live in Bangalore. I am a teacher by profession and write articles and short stories in various newspapers and magazines. I love to read, write and talk. Chandrika R Krishan

A Matter of Pride

D

r. Trisakthi Sundar Raman had the privilege of receiving a National Award from the President of India for publication of a Tamil book, “Thiraicheelai”, a book on Indian Films. The book was written by Mr. Jeevanandham

of Coimbatore, a first time writer and published in Trisakthi Publications. After a long gap of 28 years, a Tamil book has received this honour (earlier book was written by Mr. Arandhai Narayanan in 1982). The award was presented at the

National Film Awards Function on 9th September 2011 at New Delhi along with other film awards including Dada Saheb Phalke Award for Director, K.Balachander.

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I

n our country the faceless common man has to encounter myriad tribulations on a daily basis so much so that all of us take these irritants in our stride. Now as the winds of change are blowing, we can try to make a difference in our own small ways. Eve’s Times is happy to reintroduce our ‘Pique your Peeve,’ column on the request of our readers. Pl. feel free to write about rude behaviour in public places, deception, corruption, consumer issues, persecution in educational institutions or government offices and anything else that might impact you as a citizen. Send in your write-ups to editoretg@gmail.com. The best entry will win a gift coupon!

partners. She tears up as she talks about those events which still remain etched in her memory. Her husband was a small-time real estate broker, who along with five other people dealt with the buying and selling of property. Over a paltry sum of Rs.1500, he was stoned and beaten to death by five men, in plain view of his neighbours. They were apprehended and sent to jail, but to no one’s surprise, after a mere one year, they were let out again. She claims that they were bragging about having paid just one lakh to go scot free from jail for what amounts to manslaughter. She laments that though it is unfair, she doesn’t want them to go back to jail; all she wants is fair compensation for the life of her husband. Showing true maturity and wisdom, she says “Sending those men to jail again isn’t going to bring my husband back. I have two young children and my mother-in-law sent us out of the house. I’m the sole breadwinner in my family, if someone would help us get the money due to us; I would rest easy knowing I’ve provided for my children’s future”. A truly brave lady, she finds that the worst part of the ordeal is the way society has just accepted the murderers back as if they’ve done nothing wrong. Will justice prevail? Will someone step forward to make sure she

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

gets her due? Only time will tell.

BEGGARS IN BESANT NAGAR BEACH
Krishnaswamy, 54, a long time resident of Besant Nagar and one who takes his twice daily walk on the Elliot’s beach promenade (better known as Besant Nagar beach) has a long standing complaint to make – the nuisance of the beggars and eunuchs on the beach. He says “I walk along the beach twice a day, in the morning and evening, and have done so for several years. The growing menace of the eunuchs and beggars is a serious problem. There is a large gang of more than 30 of them and they demand money from everyone they encounter, even entering the eating establishments and bothering the people there. The locals, regulars and tourists are helpless.” When asked if he’d complained to the authorities, he replies, “I did tell the policemen who are there on a regular basis, but they did nothing apart from shooing away the eunuch who was bothering me. No action has been taken against them and I feel this is something the police should look into seriously, rather than bothering youngsters out with their friends. Everyone who uses the beach regularly will be thankful if this problem is sorted out.” It is hoped the authorities take

S a m y u t h a Balasubramaniam talks to some citizens about civil problems which they’ve been facing and what they would like do about it.

JUSTICE DENIED

Parvathi (name changed on request), 35, from Adyar, seems like your normal working-class woman, with two children and a job at a tailoring shop. She is cheerful, works hard and is devoted to her children, wellliked by her co-workers and enjoys tea on rainy days. Behind this cheerful façade however is a tragic story, one becoming all too common these days, for Parvathi was widowed a year and a half ago, her husband’s life cruelly cut short when he was murdered by his business

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his concern seriously and take action immediately. from him. They took a note of all the relevant details and after lodging a written complaint, she left, feeling much lighter at heart. Sure enough, within 24 hours, the stalker sent her a text saying “Sorry, won’t bother you again, very sorry.” And true to his word, he never contacted her again. She remains thankful to the prompt action by the police which freed her from a mental burden. She feels more people should trust in the police and their procedures, and that more women should come forward to complain about cyber menaces and cell-phone stalkers.

September 2011
a bus returning to Adyar from Kovalam. A passenger had boarded the bus with a large suitcase and on being told he had to pay extra for his suitcase, asked the conductor how much he had to pay. On being told, the passenger expressed surprise about the amount stated and grudgingly took out the money, complaining about the increase in prices. A normal enough grouse which many people share. This seemed to enrage the conductor to a great degree and to the surprise and disgust of the other passengers, the conductor began to curse in very vulgar Tamil, using very bad language and shouting loud enough to be heard by the entire bus at the hapless passenger. Not content with that, he insisted that the passenger disembark, not even at a bus stop but in the middle of nowhere, and was refused reimbursement on his ticket price. His suitcase was thrown down out of the bus, causing the contents to scatter all over the muddy ground. Despite protests from the other passengers, the conductor continued with this type of arrogant behavior. Everyone was much shocked at his conduct, but sadly this isn’t an isolated incident. Aren’t public officials meant to serve the public? Maybe a course in people skills wouldn’t go amiss.

MOBILE PHONE NUISANCE
Not everyone is against the authorities however – we have a heartening anecdote about the police working with the public to sort out a problem. Shruthi (name changed on request), 22, student of a local city college, is as attached to her mobile phone as the youth of today tend to be. Recently however, she developed an aversion towards the whole SMS concept, all because of a stalker who somehow acquired her number. He would call her at all hours of the day, calling twenty and thirty times in a row when she didn’t pick up. He would send her obscene text messages, taunting her and urging her to develop a ‘friendship’ with him. This happened everyday, despite her father and brother warning him to stop calling and texting her. Finally, fed up of his unwanted attentions, she lodged a complaint with Adyar Police Station, which has a Women’s Cell. She was quite apprehensive about approaching the police as she’d heard horror stories from several people, not to mention movies and the media. To her surprise, she found the two women Sub-Inspectors very helpful and approachable. They made sure she was comfortable and urged her to tell them all the details, assuring her that they were there to help her and would offer all possible assistance. She had samples of his latest text messages and her call history showed the number of missed calls she has received

BUS TRAVEL BECOMES PERILOUS
Buses in the city have become a lot better, what with the introduction of the airconditioned Volvo buses for many routes and the acquisition of deluxe buses with better seats and more comfortable interiors. Nevertheless, the commuters who go towards the ECR road from Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, etc; have several grouses. One is regarding the complete unpredictability of the bus timings. Often, half an hour goes by without a single bus and then five of them appear simultaneously. The commuters have had to rely on share-autos and the new Tata Magic Minivans, which are packed with people and often driven by reckless young men. Not only that, some bus conductors are extremely highhanded and rude. Rajachithra, 24, who goes on that route everyday, relates an incident which occurred last week on

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“The Lok Pal and Us 27 Yeah Write... Jest for Laughs 30 32

Normal Is not something to aspire to; it’s something to get away from- Jodie Foster
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‘FAST’ SOLUTION?
From Namrata’s Desh...

as a wretched part of their worlds, the recent anti-corruption movement has witnessed voices being raised against government, judicial and police corruption, kleptocracy, and red-tapeism. Following Anna Hazare’s hungerstrike, which was splashed across the news headlines for over a month now, Baba Ramdev began his quest to apparently “solve” the menace of corruption by demanding a legislation to bring back to India the untaxed black-money deposited abroad. While this move, following the recent corruption scams, has definitely proved to be a step forward, what remains like a thorn in our foot is the continuous presence of a political agenda behind every person who claims to help our country move a notch higher. Baba Ramdev’s desire to launch his own political party bears testimony to the sad truth that even the people who do raise their voices against the rampant evils in our country, do so only in pursuance of their own materialistic desires. Pressurizing the government into succumbing to demands by initiating a fast unto death may have augured well several decades ago. However, with regard to the Lokpal bill, wouldn’t resorting to such pressure mechanisms narrow the scope of constructive debate pertaining to anomalies associated with this new prospective measure? Clearly, we need a lot of answers before we blindly extend our support to this “anti-corruption” movement. The way out will be to whip up a national debate on this and come out with a clear cut agenda to eradicate corruption, starting with the Jan Lokpal Bill.

P

olitical and bureaucratic corruption has been a part of our country since time immemorial. This could be attributed to the fact that the economy of India was majorly a socialist economy from the 1950s till the late 1980s, which emphasized primarily on public ownership and extensive regulation, and which conferred unlimited power to the government, stagnating the growth of our country and paving way for corruption. Corruption, which was introduced to India because of these socialistic policies, has spread and infected all the limbs and organs of our country, like a disease.

country thrives on barely a single square meal per day, and earns less than Rs. 100 in a day, millions of crores of Rupees are stashed away in Swiss banks and other foreign havens. More often than not, state property is mysteriously acquired by nefarious officials, using illegal means.

While

80

percent

of

our

This year, however, has proved to be a watershed in the public tolerance Until next month, of political corruption Namrata in India. After years of embracing corruption Editor, Teen Mag

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The Lokpal and us

s the tug of war between Team Anna (India against Corruption) and The Government (Democratic India’s elected representatives) takes devious turns everyday, the youth of the country sure have an interesting light to shed on the subject of the Jan Lokpal Bill and corruption in general.

A

Says Mohit Sinha, an engineering student, “Corruption is not just something that involves the breaching of law in terms of bribery or extortion to get our work done without much of an inconvenience. Moral corruption is introduced to us from even when we were kids, when our parents told us that we would be rewarded if we studied

instead of being naughty”. This is a form of bribery, however insignificant it may seem and it may be the reason for laying the foundation for bribeaccepting tendencies in a child. The inherent human tendency is to always take the easier way out. Lodged in the cosy little corners of our comfort zones, we are more than happy to pay that little extra amount that takes us through those long queues at the RTO offices or past the policemen without having to go through tiresome court procedures when reprimanded for traffic rulebreaking. The typical bourgeois

mentality, rampant for decades now, looks like it’s finally going to take a turn. The ‘India Against Corruption’ movement, led by prominent civilians and activists has caused an uproar in the country like one never seen before. With thousands of people doing whatever they can to support the cause from taking part in rallies, hunger strikes and peaceful demonstrations to updating Facebook statuses, Tweeting, group SMSes and calls, the future looks bright for India. “It was about time that a movement like this was initiated ,one that most importantly resulted in a significant change. Corruption is prevalent in walks

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September 2011

of life, right from donations in schools to major finance frauds in companies. With more and more scams being exposed everyday, it’s time the people of the country step forward and cause some agitation,” says Anjali, a thoughtful school student. Speaking about the Jan Lokpal Bill (the citizens’ ombudsman bill), which promises to serve justice as hot as possiblewithin two years of the complaint being lodged, is evidently a radical step forward to reduce corruption in the country. When asked if they would be active participants of the Lokpal system, there is a slight hesitation among some, regarding it’s effectiveness in implementation. Deeptha Vasudevan, an aspiring genetic engineer, says “ The Jan Lokpal Bill looks promising on paper, when it encourages one to come forward and complain about any act of corruption even if it’s against someone as powerful as the party in power. But when implemented it will be different from the existing, flawed judicial system only if it has the powers to reprimand the ones in the government and if the Lokpal system in itself is not corrupt. There should be a way of making sure that corruption

doesn’t enter the system at any level, which means segregating the honest people from the dishonest”. While that might seem a tad too cynical according to some, it is a fair point. The effectiveness of the system can be tested only if the people who are the system are incorruptible and if the civilians come forward and complain about the acts of corruption that they come across in day to day life. “If the Lokpal system is given too much power, that might lead to an oligarchy, which is worse than a punctured democracy” says Sneha. The more optimistic ones believe that even though the Lokpal system might have it flaws, it is definitely a substantial step towards curbing corruption. Nimisha Girish, bharatnatyam dancer and student says , “I am definitely for the Lokpal movement. Granted it may not be 100% successful, or even

50%, but even if it’s success rate is 30%, it can be considered as a major step. The victory lies in bringing a sense of security among people, giving them assurances that they have an immaculate body to turn to when they have to”. The braver ones make it sound even better. Says Prashanth, “If the Lokpal is implemented, I would definitely not hesitate to complain about a corrupt government official, because that’s what is right. It might be an ordeal but if we don’t set an example, the status updates and other preaching that went on would just seem moot”. So, Jan Lokpal Bill, we might seem too preoccupied with our motorbikes and our fashion magazines, but when you arrive we will walk with you. Cheers! Malavika Srinivasan, III Year B.Tech Comp Sc Sastra University, Thanjavur

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Computer Problems for Seniors !
I think you’ll figure it out.’ So I wrote down: ID10T

Graffiti

phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries... 7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen 8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it. 10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee 11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : ) 12 You’re reading this and nodding and laughing. 13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message. 14.. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

You Know You Are Living In 2011 When...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave. 2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years. 3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three. As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers. I had a problem yesterday, so I called Mohan , the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him to come over. Mohan clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, ‘So, what was wrong? He replied, ‘It was an ID ten T error.’ I didn’t want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, ‘An, ID ten T error? What’s that? In case I need to fix it again.’ He grinned.... ‘Haven’t you ever heard of an ID ten T error before? ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Write it down,’ he said, ‘and 4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you. 5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses. 6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell

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September 2011
If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are headed the same way we are.

Year Write

THE SENSE OF A GOOSE

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What messages do we give when we honk from behind? Finally - and this is important - when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

W

hen you see geese flying along in “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common

direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone - and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

Tamil Names By Profession
If Parsis can have their name as per the profession, why can’t we have it? (After all we are not Britishers to have Barber, Cook,

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Side Bottom, etc...)
Doctor -- Vaidyanathan Dentist -- Pallavan Lawyer -- Kesavan North Indian Lawyer -- Panjabakesan Financier -- Dhanasekaran Cardiologist -- Irudhayaraj Pediatrist -- Kuzhandaisamy Psychiatrist -- Mano Marriage Counselor -Kalyanasundaram Ophthalmologist --Kannayiram ENT Specialist -- Neelakandan Polevaulter -- Thaandavarayan Diabetologist -- Sakkarapani Weight Lifter -- Balaraman Nutritionist -- Arogyasamy Sumo Wrestler -- Gundu Rao Hypnotist -- Sokkalingam Karate Expert -- Kailaasam Mentalist -- Budhisikamani Kick Boxer -- Ethiraj Exorcist -- Maatruboodham Batsman -- Dhandiappan Magician -- Mayandi Bowler -- Balaji Builder -- Sengalvarayan Spin Bowler -- Thirupathi Painter -- Chitraguptan Female Spin Bowler -- Thirupura Meteorologist -- Kaarmegam Agriculturist -- Pachaiyappan Sundari Horticulturist -- Pushpavanam Driver -- Sarathy Attentive Driver – Parthasarathy Landscaper -- Bhuminathan Barber -- Kondaiappan Contributed by Shanta Sivakumar Beggar -- Pichai Bartender -- Madhusudhan Alcoholic -- Kallapiraan Exhibitionist -- Ambalavaanan Fiction writer -- Naavalan Makeup Man -- Singaram Milk Man -- Paul Raj Dairy Farmer -- Pasupathi Dog Groomer -- Naayagan Snake Charmer -- Nagamurthi Mountain Climber -- Yezhumalai Javelin Thrower -- Velayudam

True and Correct opinion
Sir Winston Churchill... said it in 1946 against granting India freedom.’ : “Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues & silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power & India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air & water would be taxed in India.” We are incredible and so sincere; we have worked very hard just to prove him right.....

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September 2011

JEST 4 L
disconcerting; he begins walking faster. But within a couple blocks, the herd of rats behind him grows to hundreds, and they begin squealing.

He begins to trot toward the Bay, looking around to see that the rats now numbered in the MILLIONS, and are still squealing and coming toward him faster and faster. Concerned, even scared, he runs to the edge of the Bay and throws the bronze rat as far out into the Bay as he can. Amazingly, the millions of rats all jump into the Bay after it, and are all drowned.

Politically Corrat
n Indian tourist walks into a curio shop in San Francisco. Looking around at the exotica, he notices a very lifelike, life-sized bronze statue of a rat. It has no price tag, but is so striking he decides he must have it. He takes it to the owner: “How much for the bronze rat?” “Twelve dollars for the rat, one hundred dollars for the story,” says the owner. The tourist gives the man twelve dollars. “I’ll just take the rat, you can keep the story.” As he walks down the street carrying his bronze rat, he notices that a few real rats crawl out of the alleys and sewers and begin following him down the street. This is

A

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The man walks back to the curio shop.

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4 LAUGHS
2000 people leave the room. Kutty says to himself, “I do not know JAVA, but I have nothing to lose if I stay. I’ll give it a try!” Bill Gates: “Candidates who never had experience of managing more than 100 people may leave..” 2000 people leave the room. Kutty says to himself “I could not manage my wife, forget 100 people, but I have nothing to lose if I stay. What can happen to me ?” So he stays. Bill Gates: “Candidates who do not have management diplomas may leave. 500 people leave the room. Kutty says to himself, “I left school at 15, but what have I got to lose ?” So he stays in the room. Lastly, Bill Gates asked the candidates who do not speak Serbo-Croat to leave. 498 people leave the room. Kutty says to himself, “ I do not speak one word of Serbo-Croat but what do I have to lose ?” So he stays and finds himself with one other candidate; Everyone else has gone! Bill Gates joined them and said ‘Apparently you are the only two candidates who speak Serbo-Croat, so I’d now like to hear you have a conversation together in that language” Calmly, Kutty turns to the other candidate and says “Naatil Eviddey ?” The other candidate answers: “Kottayam” Contributed Sivakumar by Shanta

“Ah ha,” says the owner, “You have come back for the story?” “No,” says the man, “I came back to see if you have a statue of an Indian politician in bronze!!

Birds of the Same Feather
Bill Gates organised an enormous session to recruit a new Chairman for Microsoft Europe. 5,000 candidates assembled in a large room. One candidate is our Kutty. Bill Gates: Thank you for coming. Those who do not know JAVA may leave.

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September 2011
since you died,” her husband told her. “I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill. And then I won the multi-state lottery. I sold the little house you and I lived in and bought a huge mansion. And my wife and I traveled all around the world. We were on vacation in Cancun and I went water skiing today. I fell and hit my head, and here I am. What a bummer! How do I get in?” “You have to spell a word,” the woman told him. “Which word?” her husband asked. “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”, she replied. Moral of the story: Never make a woman angry . . . there will be Hell to pay! The longest word currently listed in the Oxford dictionary is the supposed lung-disease pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters). i thought the longest word was floccinauccihillipilnailification

 Gender Giggles
woman arrived at the Gates of Heaven. While she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the gates. She saw a beautiful banquet table. Sitting all around were her parents and all the other people she had loved and who had died before her. They saw her and began calling greetings to her, “Hello, How are you! We’ve been waiting for you! Good to see you.” When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him, “This is such a wonderful place! How do I get in?” “You have to spell a word,” Saint Peter told her. “Which word?” the woman asked. “Love.” The woman correctly spelled “Love” and Saint Peter welcomed her into Heaven. About a year later, Saint Peter came to the woman and asked her to watch the Gates of Heaven for him that day. While the woman was guarding the Gates of Heaven, her husband arrived. “I’m surprised to see you,” the woman said. “How have you been?” “Oh, I’ve been doing pretty well

A

Hell Hath no Fury

which means ‘nothing’ .

Man-o-man!

When without money, eats wild vegetables at home When has money, eats same wild vegetables in fine restaurant. When without money, rides bicycle; When has money, rides exercise machine. When without money, walks to earn food When has money, walks to lose the fat Man O Man ! Never fails to deceive thyself ! When without money, wishes to get married; When has money, wishes to get divorced. When without money, wife becomes secretary; When has money, secretary becomes wife. When without money, acts like rich man; When has money, acts like poor man.

Man, O Man, never can tell the simple truth !
Says stock market is bad but keeps speculating; Says money is evil but keeps accumulating. Says high positions are lonely but keeps wanting them. Says gambling and drinking are bad but keeps indulging;

Man O Man ! Never means what he says and never says what he means!

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Salt ‘n’ Pepper Korner
ake your kitchen experience exciting using Mallika Badrinath’s wise counsel. Mallika has recipes for everyone; even bachelors and children can turn out a delectable meal using her guidance. So go ahead with your kitchen queries and prepare healthy, tasty meals with the help of the Cuisine Queen of South India. It’s Onam time. Here are a few tips on how to make tongue-tickling Onam recipes. In what proportion jaggery is used for chakka pradhaman? Can we use sugar instead of jaggery? What other fruit can be used to prepare pradhaman?

M

fruit. Mix the first extract of coconut and remove from fire. Cut coconut into very fine pieces, fry in little ghee and add to pradhaman. Add a little more ghee for taste. Generally cardamom is not added to this desert. What is the right procedure to prepare Ilai Adai? When I prepare this dish, the adai always breaks. How to prepare thin adais that don’t break?

from the leaf without sticking to it. This should be served with the leaf. Only while eating the leaf should be removed. The Best Query of the month will win a masala hamper from Mallika Home Products Pvt. Ltd. Cooking has never been a Spicier Experience!

Vimala Seshadri,
Chennai Cut jackfruit finely. Measure one cup of fruit, add one cup of grated fresh coconut and 1 ½ cup of grated jaggery. Mix everything together in a thick ‘kadai’, stir and cook over a medium flame. Jaggery melts and then everything together forms a thick mass. Use this poornam for Ilai adai. Soak 1 cup par boiled rice in water for an hour and grind to a smooth thick paste with ¼ tsp of salt (spreading consistency). Cut banana leaf into small squares. Spread a thin layer of rice paste on top of the leaf. Place a little poornam in the centre and fold the leaf in the middle so that the poornam is inside the rice paste. Arrange these on an Idli steamer. Steam cook for 10 minutes. Once the adai is cooked properly, leaf changes its colour, and the adai comes out

Gayatri Ranganathan,
Coimbatore Pradhaman is either prepared from jack fruit (which is called chakka pradhaman) or Nendram pazham (plantain). Both these fruits are available in plenty in Kerala. The exotic taste of pradhaman comes from the coconut extract. While you can use sugar, jaggery tastes better. Use jaggery and chopped fruit in the proportion of 1:1. Cut jackfruit finely and cook in just enough water until soft. Add second extract of coconut, cook for few minutes, mashing the fruit while cooking. Dissolve jaggery in little water, heating it separately. Strain to remove dirt. Add to the cooked

Mallika Badrinath
The name “Mallika Badrinath” is familiar to most homemakers in South India. Till 1988 , she too was a homemaker ; now she is an internationally acknowledged culinary expert, with an eager audience latching on to every word she has to say about food and cooking in her television shows. Her books are sold like hot cakes across the world. She is a symbol of women achievers of India. Hers is a success story that has been an inspiration to many women.

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September 2011

Cook ‘n’ Smile Easy Recipes Indian Festive Delights

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Adhirasam (South)

e bring to you sweets for the festive season from the four corners of India. Try to make it a truly pan Indian fare this Navarathiri and Deepavali . Enjoy yummy home cooked sweets. Happy cooking! Heat oil in a pan. Make balls from the dough, the size of a lemon rolling on a plastic sheet . Flatten the balls using hands and make puris out of them. Fry the flattened adhirasams in the oil on medium flame till they become golden brown on both sides.

Kaju Katli ( West)

Ingredients Rice Molasses (jaggery) Oil

½ kg 300 gm for frying Ingredients Cashew Nuts 1 cup Sugar 1/2 cup Ghee 1 tbsp Boiling Water 1 cup Method Soak cashew nuts in a bowl of hot boiling water for about an hour. Remove water and blend in a mixer with the sugar. Heat ghee in a pan and add the cashew nut paste. Cook on medium flame, stirring constantly until the mixture turns thick. Spread the mixture on a plate greased with ghee. After it cools, cut it into diamond shape and decorate with silver foil if you desire.

Method Soak rice in water for an hour. Drain and spread on a cloth or newspaper for sometime. When it is almost dry’ grind it in a mixer. Remember, the rice should not be dried completely. Sieve to get fine rice powder. Place molasses in a pan, adding enough water to cover. Warm the molasses stirring continuously. remove from fire. Drain through a muslin cloth Put back the syrup in the pan and heat till it forms a thick paste. Remove from fire, add the rice powder and mix well to make a dough. Cover and let it stay for 8 to 10 hours.

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Pineapple Sandesh (East)
Ingredients Fresh pineapple slices (thick) Milk Fresh curd Lemon juice Chilled water Powdered Sugar Vanilla essence Method Core and clean pineapple. Chop into tiny pieces. Place chopped pineapple in a pan with 1 tsp sugar and keep on low heat. Add 1 tbsp water and cook till the pineapple becomes soft. Remove from fire and cool. Drain through a colander. Add lemon juice to ½ glass of water. Pour milk in a deep pan and boil. Add curds and mix gently to curdle. Follow it up with lemon juice to curdle completely. When the milk curdles and the whey separates remove from fire and add chilled water. Drain through a clean muslin cloth and collect the chenna. Make a pouch with the chenna inside and cool it under running water. Drain, and press out the water completely. Place a heavy pan or girldle over this pouch to remove all the water. You may also place a clean kitchen napkin and place the pouch over it before placing the heavy pan over it. Remove chenna, place in a pan and add sugar. Knead and mix well till the sugar blends with the chenna. Place this in a mixie and blend well Remove excess water from pineapple paste. Blend well in a mixie adding vanilla. Add to sweet chenna and mix well. Spread mixture on a greased plate and refrigerate. When set, press into desired shape using moulds. Serve chilled. 5-6 1 ltr 1 cup ½ lemon 1 glass 2-3tbsp 3-4 drops

Malpua (North)
Ingredients For the Rabri (optional) 1 liter Milk 1 liter Sugar I cup For the Syrup: Sugar 1 cup 1 cup Water 1 cup Saffron strands few Cardamom Powder ½ tsp Milk 2 tbsp For the Malpua Flour 500 gms Baking powder ½ tsp Sweetened Condensed Milk 400 gms Slivered almonds and pistachios to garnish Oil (Ghee if desired) for frying Method Mix the milk and one cup of sugar in a thickbottomed pan Cook till it boils, stirring continuously on a medium flame till it is reduced to ¼ th of its volume. Remove from fire, cool and refrigerate. Mix the sugar and water in a pan. When it boils add 2-3 tbsp of milk. Remove the scum that collects at the centre using a perforated ladle. Boil till you get a one thread consistency. Add cardamom power, saffron threads rubbed in a little warm milk and mix well. Keep aside. In a mix the condensed milk, flour and baking power beating with a fork to form a smooth batter. Heat enough oil (ghee) in a deep frying pan to cook the malpuas Pour the batter in the oil to form pancakes with a diameter of about 2-3” Cook till golden brown on either sides Remove from the oil and put directly in the sugar syrup Remove after 2-3 mins and drain To serve place 2 malpuas in a plate, spoon rabri over them and garnish with slivered nuts

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September 2011

JUS’ ASK BRINDA
with one another. My M-I-L however insists on talking about her past or complaining about her relatives all the time. Despite my encouragement to keep herself well informed and occupied, she has not done so. After so many years, she has nothing much to talk but about her past, again and again. She is healthy and does not have any major ailment. I hear from my relatives that she is complaining that we are ill-treating her! Her constant bickering is making us all tense! Uma Maheshwari, Chennai You are contradicting yourself when you say your mother-inlaw is free to do whatever she wants and then express that you get troubled about the way she spends her time! (New Orleans calamity or London bomb blast are of least significance to her!) Are you aware that you are allowing her to rule your thoughts? Every action of your MIL-her watching TV, her gossiping, her complaining about you, her indulgence into the past- either irritates you or frustrates you. Sorry, madam, you are destined to live in tension as long as you nurture these thoughts. People of her

Eve’s Times is happy to announce that Family Therapist and Parent-Teacher educator Brinda Jayaraman will answer any query you want to ask relating to interpersonal interactions. Send in your questions to editoretg@gmail. com.

I

imple day-to-day home remedies have always come to the rescue of our families during earlier times. Why should we not take to their astute, time-tested therapies instead of rushing to the doctors and dousing our systems with medicines?

Granny’s Alcove S
A few tips from recipe book: grandma’s In Chennai, you never know when you will be stricken with a cold. It may be a simple ailment, but it drains you of all energy and makes you laidback and lackadaisical. For colds, try this simple treatment. Make a roll of betel leaves with 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 7 black pepper corns and a small ball of

am a workingwoman with one son. My mother-in-law, 65, has been living with us since my marriage. We live a comfortable life with maids to do all the housework and I ensure that my M-I-L is free to do whatever she wants. But all she has been doing is watching TV and gossiping. Now-a-days she keeps complaining that we are not spending time with her. My husband, my son and I lead very busy lives and when we get back, we would like to spend relaxed, quality time

age take stock of their past and yearn to share their pleasures and pains with somebody. I presume that her belonging needs are strong and she longs to become part of your family. If you are able to comprehend her emotional needs, you will be unruffled by her behaviour. A little fine tuning in your attitude will help you reduce your tension. She is not looking for a comfortable house; she longs for a warm home. I am not discounting the good you have done to her; may be she too makes compromises for her relationship with you. Tolerance and patience are not saintly words; they unwind our stress. I believe a lady was intolerant about the stinking dogs reared by her husband inside the house. When suggested to open the windows, she was not ready to compromise, as her doves would fly away! You and others in the family will be feeding on each other’s stress! The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; we’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the neighbour. Isn’t this true?

jaggery and chew it slowly until soft, finally swallowing it. Take this paan roll thrice a day for 2 days. And that will rid you of the annoyance of a running nose. For diarrohea , burn a piece of calamus [ vasambu in Tamil] over direct heat [ of a vilakku

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September 2011
or a lamp]. Take the burnt powder and mix with a spoon of honey. This mixture is excellent in reducing the side effects of allopathic medicines too. Today’s high level of stress is the cause of frequent headaches for women. To rid yourself of the throbbing in your head, you can try this out: Take a handful of thulasi leaves, 2 cloves and ½ a teaspoon of dried ginger powder [chukkuppodi], grind to a paste with warm water. Heat this paste and apply on the forehead. This is sure cure for headache. Hi-carb foods, nourishing cosmetics and increased hormonal activity have resulted in excess growth of facial hair among quite a few women. Try this concoction to get rid of facial hair growth - make a paste of ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger powder, 1/2 teaspoon of alum powder, 3/4 teaspoon of wild turmeric [kasthuri manjal] and apply on the face wherever there is hair growth. Keep for 10 minutes . Rub powdered salt and apply on the face in circulatory movements. Wash with tepid water. This can be repeated twice a month. Over a period of time hair growth lessens considerably. Gargling a tablespoon of gingelly oil for 15 minutes and spitting it out can cure mouth ulcers and toothache. Do not swallow. Rinse your mouth with

Eve’s Times
warm water after 15 minutes. For corns in the feet [ kaal aani] grind a piece of turmeric, a piece of calamus[vasambu] 5 or6 pepper , ¼ cup of mehendi leaves and ¼ teaspoon of castor oil. Apply this paste on the affected area leave it on overnight. Apply often. The corns will disappear. If you want to avoid dousing your system with strong medicines and keep maintain exemplary health status of your family, grandma’s recipes will never let you down. Ask your grandma or lay your hands on books available in the market, for our grandma’s memories have been revived again with great fervor these days!

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Fashion Fundas

PLATINUM TRENDS

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ndian women’s love affair with jewelry has been eternal and enduring; especially the Tamil woman’s fascination with heavy, traditional jewelry is renowned. She never lets an occasion or a festivity pass by without adorning herself with her choicest jewelry and silks, of course. While Chennai’s insatiable appetite for traditional jewelry is well known, the news from the jewelry scenario is that this passion continues fervently but has undergone a subtle metamorphosis. The Chennai woman has widened her repertoire of jewelry and

has permitted the sleek and sophisticated jewelry to invade her precious jewel boxes. After all, jewelry must go with the current fashion too. With the increase in the army of workingwomen and their endeavor to look presentable as well as the younger generation’s romance with stylish accessories, lightweight jewelry comprising of slender chains with pendants or exquisite little chains and bracelets in gem stones and diamonds have emerged as the most sought after category of jewelry.

Curiosity about platinum jewelry is gathering momentum. There is a heightened awareness and interest in platinum jewelry today. Though it is a nascent field, the market for platinum in Chennai is good. Given the fact that Chennaites are quality conscious and invest only in valuable pieces of jewelry, platinum is coming to be accepted as an enduring metal that, when combined with diamonds and other precious stones, can be a good investment. Platinum is pure, rare, eternal and the most precious jewelry

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metal available to man with a history spanning two billion years. A platinum jewel can complement different kind of looks. It will be an elegant jewel to go with western wear or set with diamonds or precious stones, it can be worn with traditional costumes. Classical pieces such as a solitaire pendant and rings are versatile and can be worn with any type of attire. For men, platinum can be worn as bracelets, chains and cuff links set with diamonds or stones. Rings of course have universal appeal and are all-time favourites as a jewel accessory. The current trend in jewelry is to steer away from the regular mindset and look for totally new and different styles and patterns. While the traditional art jewelry market is still booming, casual wear is gaining prominence too. Young people don’t patronize loud and garish jewelry. Workingwomen choose subtle jewelry that fits their mindset. Platinum jewelry goes well with this thinking. Jewelry for men is also becoming fashionable. Men use platinum in rings, pendants, leather straps, lockets, and chains. Jewelry is a fashion statement today. People are aware that the jewelry you wear says a lot about your personality. Jewelry is n integral part of fashion. So just be sure to pick up the most suitable jewel accessory next time you select an outfit for your wardrobe. Coupled with an intelligent choice, your jewelry can accentuate the radiance in you!

September 2011

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The Beginning-Yantra Mantra
W
e were as a nation privileged to see history being made. Anna Hazare and 200 of his supporters went on a fast unto death and broke it after nearly 100 hours. This is some achievement in times when politicians and parvenus

Padmini & Natarajan
go on ‘instant fasts’ for dubious reasons. Anna Hazare is 74 years. Can anyone of us fast even for 12 hours? Imagine this man fasted for 97+ hours. ( He has repeated this for 13 days). He went to Jantar Mantar, New Delhi and

started his fast saying that he would not stop till he achieved his goal. He told the country men who were in deep slumber that successive Governments had failed to pass the Lok Pal bill in the last 42 years and this was tantamount to cheating.

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• He had written to Sonia and Manmohan Singh, the PM many letters, without getting a reply. • Next he introduced himself saying that he had never wanted anything for himself in his entire life. • He was a man who fought for the poor, lived in a small room in a temple and had no family or bank account. His personal possessions were only four sets of clothes. • Corruption has become rampant, insidiously creeping into every walk of life. and reasonable demands were initially ridiculed by the spokespersons of the Congress party and the Government. They described his demand as impossible and accused him of resorting to black mail. However his example of walking the talk, pretty much like Mahatma Gandhi, electrified the whole country. The recent spate of scams--2G spectrum, CWG , Adarsh society, Dewas— involving huge corruption and loss of money to the exchequer had already laid the base of festering resentment in the minds of people. Thanks to the TV and other media, there was a spontaneous ground swell of support for his stand across the country. The extensive coverage by the TV media round the clock added to the awareness. The old, the young, the geeks and nerds, the businessmen and teachers, the farmer and the Benz-ers and hundreds of children gathered in large numbers all over the country to support Hazare with the slogan “I am Anna!” There was instant identification with the man and his mission. As the fast gathered momentum, dozens of public persona joined the movement. Anna Hazare was emphatic in prohibiting any bandwagon passengers and all political parties were kept firmly away from dais and publicity. Finally after 72 hours and 3 rounds of talks, the Government caved in presumably fearing the repercussions on the ongoing elections in the assemblies of three states—all of them

September 2011
implicated in corruption issues as well. Jantar Mantar is next to Connaught Place and on Parliament Street, Delhi is a special place. This is the place from where Anna Hazare threw down the gauntlet and challenged the might of the government of the largest democracy in the world. He made history, being aptly described as the second Mahatma Gandhi, in a spot steeped in its own history. Anna’s mantra was “Banish corruption”. The positive vibes of Jantar Mantar probably had something to do with the Government’s change of attitude by 180 degrees and the unprecedented support that Anna got. That probably gave Anna the invincible determination and courage in obtaining the vital break through. Another 2 days of fasting might have caused some dangerous irreparable damage to his health and the health of 200 others who fasted with him. Jantar Mantar is derived from the Sanskrit “Yantra Mantra”. The word “Mantra” is derived from Sanskrit. Mantra contains two words - “man” (rhyming with sun) which means “to think” (also in manas “mind”) and suffix “tra” which means “tool”, hence a literal translation would be “instrument of thought”. A mantra is a powerful word or phrase. Mantras are energy-based sounds. One’s subconscious mind can find its solution through meditation

• Politicians and bureaucrats, most of them part of this system, had shown no inclination to overcome it. They wanted to shield themselves from punishment and not people from corruption. • The first step to counter this was to pass the Jana Lok Pal Bill in Parliament, said Anna Hazare. • The bill that had been drafted by the Government, lacked teeth and diminished the role of the proposed Lok Pal to that of a harmless creature. • He asked the Government to consider and finalise his draft bill through a legally constituted committee comprising a joint team of Civil Society representatives and a group of Ministers. Anna Hazare’s grassroots background, peaceful fast

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and recitation of mantras. A mantra, when repeated constantly during meditation, first loudly and then through silent and mental chanting, changes the consciousness. The most basic mantra is Aum, which is known as the “pranava mantra”, the source of all mantras. Aum is regarded to be the most fundamental and powerful mantra. Aum represents the first manifestation of Brahman, the Supreme reality. Thus, Aum is prefixed and suffixed to all Hindu prayers. Yantra is a symbolic representation of aspects of divinity, usually the Mother Goddess by an interlocking matrix of geometric figures. The Yantra is primarily a meditation tool both for serious spiritual seekers as well as sculptors in the classical tradition. Before creating their artefact in wood, stone or metal, they draw up a Yantra that represents the attributes of the god they wish to sculpt. Intense meditation upon it causes the fully formed image to leap into the mind’s eye with an intensity that is remarkable for its imprinting ability, for then they do not need to use a sketch till the completion of the image. Jantar Mantar is very popular among tourists and the people of Delhi. The structure is a great masterpiece of Indian architecture which shows the scientific acumen of ancient

Eve’s Times
India. Jantar Mantar is also called Delhi Observatory. It was built in 1710 AD, (an age when others were busy building tombs and forts!) by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur who was a fanatical researcher, astronomer and scientist. It consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extraterrestrial altitude. The whole structure is made of stone and marble, each of them has an engraved astronomical scale. It has always attracted architects, historians and scientists from all over the world for its origins in time and place when modern instruments were not even thought of.

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September 2011

ANNA’S & Natarajan RAM LILA Padmini

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ama is worshipped as “Purushottama” or the ideal human being. The sprawling Ramlila ground is the venue where Dussehra is staged for 10 days every year, much to the rejoicing of common folk. One story of Dussehra is the celebration of Ram’s fight against Ravana and on the final day, the effigies of three Rakshasas are burnt. It is due to be celebrated during early October. Dussehra came early to Indians this year as a record crowd from across the country witnessed a modern day Ramayana staged

R

LIVE by team Anna at the same Delhi Ramlila grounds against the mighty Government. History was truly made with a 24/7 live coverage by the TV media. The Government cooperated unwittingly, playing a true villain donning the role of Ravana and his team. The war was staged with the government using every kind of deception— Maya as it is described by Sage Valmiki—in its rule book. Stabbed by the Government in his back after his team had jointly drafted a strong Lokpal bill, Anna announced well in advance his indefinite fast against the Government sponsored, ‘weak’ Lokpal bill designed to protect the corrupt. Anna named his protest a ‘second freedom movement’. To begin with Government tried to prevent Anna from staging his protest by first threatening an action similar to what was meted out to another dissenter against corruption, Baba Ramdev. Then in filmy style, it ‘directed’ the Delhi police to deny a site for protest. This didn’t work. The police then suggested a site far away from

the city to discourage mass participation. Anna turned it down and the media supported him in general with complete coverage and regular sound bytes! The Government then yielded, offering a stadium in Delhi and imposed 23 impossible conditions. It wanted the fast protest to be restricted to 3 days and the crowd to 5000. Anna was uncompromising. His support from the press and public increased. They saw through Government’s tactics. The panic stricken Government imposed Section 144 and arrested Anna from his house even before he started his protest and lodged him in Tihar jail where Raja and Kalmadi, two of the corrupt government men awaiting trial, were also lodged. This incensed his supporters but Anna advocated his supporters to be peaceful. They listened, but

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their numbers in the streets of Delhi and elsewhere grew with peaceful protests. The crowds for Anna started swelling outside the jail. The nervous Government realised its folly and told Anna within 5 hours that that there were no charges against him and that he was free to walk out. Anna was always one step ahead and announced that he had started his fast as scheduled since that morning, just as he had announced earlier. He had intelligence report that the cunning cowardly government was plotting to fly him off to his village, once he was released. He promptly refused the dubious freedom offered to him and stayed in Tihar to become a hero among all his jail mates with some even joining the fast. After a whole day the Government finally went down on its knees and agreed to allow access to Ramlila Ground. When Anna came out of Tihar, a sea of people greeted him with the national flag and peaceful slogans in praise of the country. The Government hoped that the movement would die in a day or two. But its own dirty tricks helped to add to a ground swell global support for Anna. It even tried out a smear campaign, branding the movement communal and motivated. The TV media saw the support for Anna and covered the unprecedented event 24/7, further unsettling the Government. The Government’s last hope was that 74 year old Anna would collapse soon and could be bundled off to a hospital and it employed its customary delaying and double speaks tactics to frustrate him. Even Anna’s massive supporters became worried about his failing health. The steely Anna vowed to fast until the Government gave in. The desperate government even played the Parliament against him, calling him a challenge to the supremacy of the Parliamentary system and the country’s democracy. The propaganda again misfired. It tried to plant a mole in his team. All its efforts turned counter-productive. Anna’s support further increased to alarming numbers. The entire country prayed for his well being. Anna remained steadfast in his declared goal. He was willing to die happily for his cause, he said. He refused even the intravenous drips strongly recommended by his medical team.

September 2011
Finally the Parliament too yielded. It met unusually on a Saturday and passed a resolution accepting his 3 minimum conditions to be incorporated in the Lokpal bill. Anna broke his fast on Sunday the 28th August after 12 ½ days, a truly marathon feat. After recouping in Delhi for a couple of days Anna triumphantly returned to Ralegan Siddhi, his village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra to a rousing reception and celebrated Ganesh Chathurti. His mission has not stopped here. He has promised to next fight for bringing awareness all over the country about corruption and the need for electoral reforms. Anna Hazare is now revered across the country by the young and the old alike as another Gandhi. He is a great inspirational force now for today’s disillusioned generation.

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Story Club

YET ANOTHER

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September 2011

HOUSEHOLDER’S EXPERIENCE
every 40-45 days, don’t you, that is roughly around 7-8 times a year, so every time you save Rs. 15, you get to save Rs. 8590 a year!’ said her statistically inclined husband. ‘Wow!’ said Sheila, ‘what an enormous sum, a whopping Rs. 90/- Will wonders ever cease?’ She added sarcastically, ‘My maid’s 10 year old son will also scoff at that amount!’ ‘Well, a penny saved is a penny earned,’ quipped her husband. It was 9 a.m. and the power went off. ‘Oh no,’ groaned Sheila, ‘why has the power gone off now? The scheduled time for our area is 1-2 p.m.’ ‘Oh, I forgot to tell you that there is an announcement of power cut from 9-5 p.m. for our area today in the newspaper,’ her husband informed her, though a tad too late. Sheila was horrified by the news,’ I have just turned on the washing machine and I have also soaked dhal and rice to run them in the grinder for idlis tomorrow. Now what am I going to do,’ she wailed. But there was no other way; she had to wait till 5p.m for the power to start all her chores. Her ever optimistic husband threw her a word of cheer, ‘Be thankful that you are not expecting any guests today, how would you have coped with that? You would have had them sweating it out in this hot weather.’ ‘Well, I like that!’ said Sheila, ‘I have to sweat out the day too, haven’t I?’ ‘Better you alone than with a horde of people’, said her husband running out of the house to the comforts of his air conditioning office. Life went on with the usual pace of a routine. The thoughts of inflation always lingered on in some part of the mind, at times surfacing, at times ebbing but stay they did, what with each day bringing fresh news to that effect. For some days the news was about politicians making millions on the sly and other days carried news of freebies being doled out in huge numbers. There were so many freebies on offer that the papers informed that there was a mad scramble for the family cards at the department of civil supplies. An official report said about 300 families were now applying for the card daily and before the promises of freebies, less than 100 families used to apply. Many parents sought separate cards for their children and an elderly citizen even threatened to commit suicide if they were not issued a separate card. Upon enquiry, families that had only a single kitchen were still found demanding separate cards for each of the sons. ‘Why won’t the economically backward class go to such lengths to procure ration cards when so many things are on offer?’ mused Sheila as she read the papers every day, ‘the list runs from table fans to wet grinders to mixies!’ With this aura of unreasonableness

Kanchana. Rao RICE RISE WILL HIT HARD, AT HOME & ON THE ROAD’, screamed the headlines one day. This was followed by another, ‘COOKING GAS UP Rs. 50, DIESEL TO COST Rs. 3 MORE’. ‘Another price rise!’ Sheila exclaimed in disgust, ‘there was a petrol rise only a few weeks back, how many more are we expected to face?’ ‘This will mean higher prices of fruits, vegetables, pulses, bus and taxi fares,’ said her husband with a solemn face. Both of them then went about their work, silently thinking of the consequences of the ever increasing price rise on their monthly budgets. The next day, by way of consolation, the headlines read, ‘LPG PRICE TO DIP BY Rs. 15 AS CM CUTS VAT’ ‘Some consolation!’ grumbled Sheila, ‘it is still going to be Rs. 35 more, isn’t it?’ ‘Yes, but just see how much our government is saving for us, you book LPG,

‘P

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in spite of the heavy taxes we are paying; high rise in prices, less facilities, scheduled as well as unscheduled power cuts, the list is endless. And do we get a salary hike to cope with the inflation? On the other hand so many politicians are looting us in their own way. What does the future have in store for us and for our children?’ she asked in a distressed tone. For once her husband too was at a loss for words. He consoled Sheila saying, ‘Don’t let the maid issue bother you so much. We will look for another maid and until then I will help you cope. If it’s one thing about us middle class people, it is that we can cope with any situation and have been doing so from time immemorial!’ ‘Yes,’ sighed Sheila, ‘and we will continue to do so too, for time immemorial, I suppose’.

surrounding her, Sheila lost it literally when her maid came to her with a demand. The demand was for a rise in her salary as well as 3 months of salary advance too! She did not waste time on making a request for it either. When Sheila told her maid that the salary she was paying her was on the higher end already and how could she come up with a lump sum for the advance all of a sudden, her maid pointed out that the prices of all commodities had gone up so much and that people like Sheila, instead of spending on so many ‘other’ things, should be paying them more salary. Sheila found the maid’s audacity incredible and she was so dumbfounded, she could not speak. Sheila’s husband who was sitting nearby had heard the whole conversation, and he quietly asked the maid to

wait till the next day for their decision. They discussed the maid’s demands and attitude during the night. Sheila was indignant about the whole thing. She said, ‘Here we are just about making ends meet and still people like our maid say we have to spend for them rather than on ‘other’ things. Obviously she means we should not go out for entertainment or spend money on shopping and God knows what else. Next they will be dictating how we use our salary. Don’t they know these so called freebies they get are being doled out from our hard earned tax money? Look at the way the government is pampering them with no thought on how much we are being taxed in the process. We compromise on so many things,

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September 2011

“M

ama where do babies come from?” “Why do I have two ears and only one nose?”

For most parents today, defeating a dragon, winning a war or counting the number of stars in the sky would seem like an easier task to accomplish than raising a child. Parents often wonder what the “right” way to parenting is and doubt whether they belong to the few who fall under the category of being perfect (or at least close to perfect) parents. No matter how you raise your child, judgments will always be made, comments will be passed and labels will be handed out (whether you want them or not). A very loving, caring mother who showers her son with love, protects him from the harsh realities of the world and pampers him by making sure she takes care of all of his needs will automatically be accused of mollycoddling him and raising him to be a pansy. A mother who is very tough and demanding on her children and who is a stickler for discipline will be labeled as a martinet. In a dictatorship like parenting such as this, she runs the risk of her children referring to her as Hitler. Some mothers prefer to give their children space (sometimes more than is required) rather than suffocating the child with too much love or too much disciplining. These mothers are often judged as being aloof and negligent. Parents are often subjected to criticism (most often unwelcome) from other parents, their spouses and their own parents, the theme for which revolves around them not doing a good job of raising their children. It is nothing new to parents that their parenting will have an impact on their children. Too much love or too much disciplining may have unpleasant effects on a child. Having a balance between love and discipline while parenting, would be a good way to raise a child. Maintaining this balance is easier said than done; as most parents know, parenting can be very challenging and there is no sure shot formula to perfect parenting. Each parent has their own methods and styles of parenting. Psychologists identify four basic styles of parenting under which most parents can be classified. By definition, a parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in child rearing. In simpler words, it is how a parent raises his/her child. These parenting styles are based on some important dimensions of parenting such as disciplinary strategies, love, warmth & nurturance displayed by the parents, the way parents communicate with their children and their expectation

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“Why do birds have wings and I don’t?”

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of the level of maturity and control of the child. On the basis of these dimensions, majority of parents display one of four different parenting styles: • • • • Authoritarian parenting Democratic parenting Permissive parenting Uninvolved/ dysfunctional parenting

Whatís your Style?

Before you classify yourself under one of these styles, let us look into what each of these parenting styles mean. In the permissive style of parenting, parents are overly lenient with their children in their parenting approach. They are indulgent parents and easily give in to the impulses, demands and wishes of their children. These parents have very few demands on their children and are non punitive. They do not have any set of rules for their children to follow and no expectations are set about the child’s behavior. They shower their children with love but do not correct them or discipline them in any way. They allow their children to do whatever they please and try to maintain an open communication line with them. Permissive parents often take on the role of being more of a friend than a parent. Children who are raised by permissive parents are often manipulative and irresponsible and have poor interpersonal skills. They believe that the ‘world owes them’ and that they should and must get their way. Example: a mother serves dinner to her 6 yr old son, who refuses to eat and instead flings the food aside and demands to have ice cream. The mother

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promptly gives her son a bowl of ice cream and clears up the mess he made. The mother displays indulgent behavior because she did not reprimand him for throwing the food and did not tell him that he could have his ice cream after he finished his meal and instead gave in to his tantrum and allowed him to have his way. Parents who adopt the authoritarian style of parenting, have high expectations for their children to follow the strict rules established by them. When the child does not obey them or follow the rules, parents use punishment as a tool to discipline them. They believe in keeping the child in his/her place and restrict their autonomy and independence. The child is under the total control of the parent and is never allowed to make any decisions or choices of his/her own. Parents make sure that the children know who the boss is and that they should blindly accept the parent’s word for what is right. Children brought up by authoritarian parents grow up to be submissive and dependent and have poor interpersonal skills. They lack drive and expression and often have low self esteem. Some of them however, may model their parent’s behavior and take to bullying and being aggressive. Example: a mother comes to know that her daughter has tripped another girl in her class (intentionally or unintentionally). When the mother gets called to school to meet the teachers, she immediately turns to her daughter and shouts at her in public and slaps her so that she will know what it feels like to hurt someone. The mother was being overly punitive in public and did not give her daughter a chance to explain what happened. The mother ‘put her in her place’ in a very harsh manner without having a discussion about the behavior. The third style of parenting is uninvolved or dysfunctional. These parents are unresponsive to their children and place very few demands on them. Communication with the children is limited and there is a lack of emotional involvement and supervision of their children. The characteristic of the parent here is indifference. They are not really involved in their child’s life but provide the basic needs for them, without making any efforts to go beyond just that. In extreme cases, dysfunctional/ uninvolved parenting style involves rejections or neglecting the child’s needs. Children of d y s f u nc t ion a l/u n i nvol ve d parents are often insecure and have poor interpersonal skills. They can be revengeful, blaming and aggressive. Example: a 15 yr old boy goes up to his parents and asks for some money for a class trip that all his friends are going on. His mother is watching TV and his father is busy with work. They do not pay much attention to what he is saying and ask him not to bother them. The boy is ignored and is not given any money. His parents were not interested in what their son was saying and did not respond to what he was saying. His parents neglected his needs and did not make any effort to communicate with him.

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The fourth and final style of parenting is democratic parenting. Parents establish rules and guidelines for their children but are more democratic about it. They set clear expectations for their children but also show enough love and affection. They are responsive to their children and are willing to listen to their questions and answer them. Democratic parents are assertive and firm but are not intrusive and restrictive. When making rules, they explain to their children why the rules are made and what is expected of them. The disciplinary methods used by them are more supportive rather than punitive. They focus more on guiding the child through teaching rather than resorting to punishment always. They follow a give and take policy with their children and are friendly. Children brought up by parents who adopt the democratic style of parenting have a realistic self esteem of themselves. They are goal oriented and have good decision making skills. They are responsible and have good interpersonal skills. Example: when her daughter leaves her toys all over the house and on the staircase, a mother tells her daughter that leaving toys on the staircase could trip someone or hurt them and that the toy could be damaged in the process. The mother did not shout or hit her daughter for not clearing up her toys but explained to her that it could hurt someone if the toys were left lying around. The mother did not punish her daughter but guided her towards appropriate behavior through teaching her

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about the ill effects of leaving the toys on the staircase. Having read about the different parenting styles you might have got a clearer idea of which style you use with your children. No parent consistently shows traits of one single parenting style but they are classified under these categories because for the most part of parenting, they adhere to one of these styles. There are chances that a few parents may adopt an eclectic style of parenting or strictly follow only one style. You may have heard a friend, sibling, spouse or your own child saying “when I become a mother I will never be like my mother and do things the way she did; I will be different”. It’s funny how so many people say that but end up adopting their parent’s style of parenting. This is because most often a parent is a model

for the kind of parenting that their children will use when they become parents. On the other hand, an individual may have had very poor parenting by their parents and would learn from those mistakes and make sure that they use a different and more effective style of parenting with their children. As parents you know that the way you raise your children can have many effects on them but you may not have considered that it could have an effect on

their style of parenting too. This puts a lot of pressure on a parent to make sure he/she is parenting in the perfect way. It is not always possible to be the ideal or perfect parent. However by learning from past mistakes and working hard to maintain the right balance between love and discipline, you can be sure that you did your best with your children Leela B and Samyuktha Y G, Psychologists, Medall Behavioural Health Services.

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September 2011

Save our Environment Sarath Babu

Get Set GREEN-My Message to World Leaders….

W

ell, when I sat to write a topic, which is of major concern in the present day world, “Environment Awareness/Global Warming” I had one basic idea in my mind. If this habit of not polluting the environment or surroundings is not inculcated in the very beginning of a person’s life, it cannot be done at all. If damage is not controlled initially it cannot be controlled nor contained later. We hear lot of hue and cry everywhere around the globe about pollution and global warming but when I went back to my childhood days, I could

hardly remember a single advert or an outcry from any of the country across the world about this. Two decades back, people were eating, traveling using gadgets like air coolers, air conditioners, refrigerators and other contraptions. The damage was done in such a manner that we now have realized the devastation this could cause or perhaps already caused already caused in various parts of the globe. We are all collectively to be blamed since we decide to choose an easier way out, altering our lifestyles in such a manner that we used all the

resources indiscriminately, unmindful of the impact it would cause to our surroundings. For instance the usage of CFC (Chloro Fluro Carbon) in air coolers or refrigerators is vital for their functioning. The fact remains that our ancestors did live without these luxuries for centuries. When they could live, why can’t we? I am not asking us to go back to Stone Age. All I ask is to live “Responsibly”. We need to understand that we have to leave this place for our future generations also to live without any problems. The CFC’s from various equipments and industries along with growing carbon monoxide menace

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everywhere has threatened the very existence of Arctic and Antarctic Glaciers which in turn has challenged the lives of thousands of Penguins and Polar bears. They now have to travel a greater distance for their food and survival. Is this not brutal..? our neighbour renowned for being a small, yet clean nation. We need to draw up a scheme of fine and punishments for public dismeanour such as littering or spewing saliva, defecating and urinating in public places. The government should come out with more wastage processing centers in various zones where in they have to segregate the wastes according to the composition. For example, electronic waste should be processed separately and plastic separately and other wastage separately. Secondly when it comes to electricity consumption, government should create awareness among the people to keep the electric and electronic items switched off when not in use. It can also ask companies manufacturing electrical gadgets to incorporate properties like power saving mode or auto switch-off to reduce electricity consumption. Some electrical contraptions already have these facilities. Wherever possible, the public should be encouraged to use alternative forms of energy for running their gadgets. The common available form is Solar Energy. More and more of Solar Energy-enabled products should come to the market. If used collectively across billions of households in India, this can result in great savings both in terms of money and electricity. The government of Karnataka has come out with a unique plan of offering CFL bulbs shortly to all households at subsidized rates. The same can be implemented across all the

Eve’s Times
states. The government should also insist all the companies to produce only 4 or 5 Star rating components (rated by Bureau of Energy and Efficiency – BEE) rather than allowing them to produce 2 or 3 Star rated components.

For our luxury, we are jeopardizing the lives of animals, birds, plants and insects. Many have gone into Red Data Book already and some are on the verge of being extinct. Even great rivers like Ganges, Indus in India is on the verge of disappearing from the map because of the exploitation. There are few ways with which all can be addressed. Given the capacity for mass production, industrialization is a major requirement, without which survival on the planet is difficult. The awareness about pollution, environment conservation and preservation is less in the developing countries when compared to that of developed nations. Few examples are: Littering in public places, not disposing off the waste thoughtfully etc. Countries like India have to formulate and implement strict rules like that of Singapore,

Thirdly when it comes to using 2 or 4 wheelers, the government should encourage people to use public mode of transport or car pooling to bring down petrol consumption. This step will help reduce debt due to import of fuel. The government can collaborate with private players to promote energy efficiency vehicles; battery operated two or four wheelers etc. Pollution check for vehicles should be done strictly and if any vehicle does not meet the standards, it needs to be taken off the road unless it is rectified. The government of Karnataka is conducting “Bus Day” every month which is an appreciable one. Organizations like HSBC also do this among their employees. To tackle energy crisis private organizations

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should join hands with the government. Next, all the state governments should make Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) compulsory in all houses. By doing this we are saving the precious water which would also become scarce in the next 25 to 30 years in many parts of the country and the globe. By doing this we improve the availability of ground water. Tamilnadu is among the first to implement this in a full fledge manner, making it compulsory for all the households and by default has prescribed this rule for new constructions without which the building plan would not be sanctioned. across the globe. Lastly, one should avoid using plastic as much as possible. Please carry your own bags to the vegetable vendors otherwise you force them to give you a plastic bag which is a hazard to the environment though it is nowadays manufactured under the rules and regulations of the government. Yet it should not exceed a specific micron limit. Encourage all your friends, family members and colleagues to do the same. Try using recycled or gunny bags which you can get in many departmental stores. Some store even give discounts for getting your won bags, which is really appreciable. This will encourage the public to discontinue the habit of procuring carry bags from the stores. It is also important for the public to follow the rules promulgated by the government such as in the area of fishing. When the fishing area is restricted, it is important to

September 2011
follow the rules because we must understand that the government acts in the interest of the public. Please do not use a service or equipment unless it is really vital to use it at that point of time. Create Awareness right from the childhood through education and this would take care of the rest and make this place a good and better place to live and survive! We are happy to reproduce a blog by Sarath Babu of HSBC Electronic Data Processing India Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore. This blog was awarded the second price for the blog contest held by the US consulate among the states of TN, AP, Kerala, and Karnataka and in UT’s Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry. The award was given by US Consul General Ms. Jennifer Mcintyre on 12.8.2011. Visit http://daffodilstouch. wordpress.com for details.

Coming next is the issue of deforestation. Though this cannot be completely avoided, we should try to compensate for this. A tree emits more oxygen than a few saplings put together. Therefore we must ensure that some saplings are planted for every tree that is chopped. We should avoid using paper unnecessarily since this means chopping of trees. All the paper and other components made from paper should be recycled to the maximum extent possible and banks should actively encourage public to avoid using paper statements. Instead e-statements can be used widely. Similarly e-statements should be made mandatory for receipts, tickets etc. This can go a long way in helping us maintain the Eco balance

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or over half a century now, Life Insurance Corporation of India, better known as LIC has become a part and parcel of nearly every Indian’s life. LIC embodies faith and trust, offering a safety net for millions of Indian families to live without worries about economic security. Today, despite the change in the nature of the insurance industry and the resultant competition from private players, LIC towers above all insurance organizations not only as the biggest brand name in the industry but also for responding to the needs of the demands of the evolving and

F

CELEBRATING FIFTY FIVE YEARS OF TRUST
dynamic market conditions and service level standards. The adaptive stance it has adopted to cater to a young and vibrant India, offering a diverse basket of products to suit different needs has enable it to beat world-class standards, proving the very purpose and essence of its establishment vide the LIC Act of 1st September 1956. During 1999 the Indian Insurance industry opened up to private insurers on the Indian soil for the first time since independence. LIC has to compete with 23 players in the life Insurance industry today. LIC services more than 28 crore individual policies besides covering more than 9 crore people under Group Insurance/ superannuation schemes and more than 3 crore families under social security schemes. LIC is a financial conglomerate of international repute, servicing its customers matching internationals service standards through 8 zonal offices and several divisional, and branch and satellite offices across the country. LIC is the largest insurance company in the world in terms of number of customers, forming the largest unique group of people after the populations of China,

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Indian and the US. LIC is also the single largest investor in the Indian market with investments in the government and developmental sector forming the major strength of the Indian economy. In the market place, LIC has reinforced the trust of crores of Indians that has enabled it to capture more than 78% of the market share in number of policies. LIC has posted a robust performance in terms of corporate governance benchmarks. LIC’s CSR initiatives were given a further thrust with the setting up of LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation which involves in social activities such as construction of school buildings, helping in the education of school children, providing vans to hospitals etc. To commemorate the completion of 55 years, LIC ushered in a week long celebration starting from 1 Sept 2011 at Raintree Hotel, Anna Salai, Chennai. Speaking on the occasion Mr. D.D. Singh, Zonal Manager enumerated the remarkable accomplishments of the huge organization. He said technology driven initiatives by LIC has brought about amazing changes in the functioning of the organization for the benefit of the customers. LIC is one of the largest IT users in the country. Total computerization and networking of all offices along the length and breadth of the country was accomplished and LIC is the first to do so. This has enabled LIC to render excellent service at lower costs to the customers. LIC is a trailblazer in other initiatives too. To provide anytime and anywhere service to customers, LIC has started a huge project Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS). Once EDMS is in place, customers can avail anytime and anywhere policy services. LIC has introduced new application software named “e feap” for the effective service of customers. At present, more than 200 branches under South Zone have successfully migrated to “e-feap” system. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for the delivery of the unique 12 digit identity nos. to the people of India. The project is names as “Aadhaar”.

September 2011
Customers can o logon to the portal www.licindia.in to get policy details and information about various products. Also present on the dais were Mr. T.Sitharthan, Regional Manager (Mktg), Mr. T.R.Venugopal, Chief Engineer, and Mr. N.P. Sinha, Regional Manager (P & IR). Ms. Gemma Berly, Regional Manager (CC) outlined the week long celebrations of LIC. As part of the insurance week celebrations, various social and customer oriented activities are being arranged. Some of them are: Cultural Competitions and Quiz programmes for colleges and school children Special service counters are operational during the Insurance Week for speedy settlement of claims, spot revival and for other policy service matters.

Drinking water facilities are being provided to schools in LIC has become the part of remote rural areas. Wheel chairs to disabled poor children supply of mobile vans to Hospitals/Orphanage.

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